Drug Trafficker Sentenced for Cocaine Trafficking
BOSTON – A drug trafficker operating in the Boston area was sentenced yesterday for his role in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy.
Maurice Coates, 46, of Randolph, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to eight years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release. On April 18, 2023, Coats pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
In June 2020, Coates was charged along with 23 others as part of Operation Snowfall. According to the charging documents, beginning in November 2018, law enforcement conducted an investigation into drug trafficking activities by Boston-based street gang members and associates in the Commonwealth Development in Brighton, formerly known as Fidelis Way, a multi-apartment public housing development. It is alleged that the defendants, through their drug trafficking activities, assumed control over multiple apartments, where they stored, cooked, packaged and sold drugs. As a result, their activities caused a blight of the development and reduced the quality of life of the other residents.
The investigation also targeted large-scale drug suppliers and their associates. It is alleged that the targets continued to distribute cocaine and cocaine base throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. Coates is the 16th defendant to plead guilty in that case.
Coates was identified as a significant drug supplier and distributor within the drug conspiracy, during which it is estimated he distributed over 500 grams of cocaine. During intercepted calls with co-defendant Kenji Drayton, Coates used drug-coded language to discuss their drug supply needs and to coordinate drug deal meetups. Coates was one of Drayton’s main cocaine suppliers, including during the pandemic. At times, Drayton and Coates’s coded communications were corroborated by surveillance, including a surveilled meetup between Coates and Drayton for a suspected drug deal. After their suspected deal, law enforcement intercepted communications of co-defendants Drayton and Jarmina Kallon coordinating a meeting. Following their meeting, law enforcement stopped Kallon and recovered approximately 62 grams of cocaine.
One remaining defendant in the case has pleaded not guilty and is pending trial. Another defendant, Derek Hart, remains at large. On Sept. 28, 2022, Drayton was sentenced to five years in prison and four years of supervised release.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Brian Kyes, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; John E. Mawn, Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox made the announcement. Assistance with the investigation was provided by the Braintree, Cambridge, Canton, Randolph and Weymouth Police Departments; the Suffolk, Norfolk and Bristol County District Attorneys’ Offices; and the Suffolk, Plymouth and Norfolk County Sheriffs’ Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin R. O’Donnell and Timothy E. Moran of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.